• Roy

Friday, April 6th 2018

Updated: Aug 18, 2018


True Spring has been reluctant to come. In balmy New York, I have come to expect weather in the 60's by now. But its mostly hung out below 50. I like it. Cool and mild. Today was warmer. Grey, but beautiful. Plants are coming alive, much more vivid and green. My walk through the park was very pleasant.

One week ago, a recent shortness of breath I'd experiencing became much worse. By the end of the weekend I was very easily winded, and feeling cramped. Monday I alerted the medical team, and was scheduled a scan that afternoon to see what was up. That turned out to be a build up of liquid in the cavity around my left lung, that was significantly compressing that organ. So Tuesday I went to see the liquid-around-lung removal guy. I was feeling a little weary and bracing myself for a long & unpleasant procedure, but was pleasantly surprised to learn this was to be quick and painless. And it actually was!I hunched over as a spot on my back was first numbed, and then I hardly felt a thing as a needle was poked in, apparently start sucking out the liquid like a straw. They told me they expected to remove possibly over a liter of liquid, which sounded like a heck of a lot, but the magnitude of that did not sink in until afterward and I saw the bulging bag and exclaimed: is that it? It was.

Brace yourself, here it is:

My lung was very scrunched indeed.

In music news, I have taken my journey towards being a legit home-studio recording artist / producer yet another big step forward with two very significant acquisitions. One was the complete set of plugins from SoundToys – a VT based music software development company. These do a range of things that effect my recordings in either subtle or obvious ways. One of the subtle ones that I love is the decapitator, which accurately simulates the effect of sounds being run through tubes in studios. It allows me to give each track a little of its own character, or saturation. Most of the plugins I already had some version of within Logic (stock plugins), but the SoundToys in every case are vastly superior, and actually used in professional situations by major artists.

The other acquisition was a package of 12 foam panels, used to 'treat' my room for sound. It wouldn't seem like this would make a big difference, but I swear I can hear and feel it. I've also realized its definitely quiet enough most of the time to record right there, and it will actually sound excellent, so I don't need to spend more energy moving about trying different rooms in the apartment. I'm feeling very set up. All this has kept me very inspired and productive, coming up with lots of new material – all short little pieces with commercial / film music in mind. One though – to be titled something like: Small Frog & and Great Wide Ocean is very catchy and I will absolutely develop further, and envision playing it live in future concerts, likely calling it part of Paradigm, as it is thematically connected. Anyway, Mavis layered on a bunch of gospel-esque vocals to the track the other day that sound phenomenal.

So, April is off to a good start. 2018 overall is great so far. Very raw. A beautiful unfiltered intensity permeates this year. I think I love it. I love the way I've felt. So focused and uninhibited. It is a great gift. I feel so confident – the most I have perhaps in my entire life. But the threat of my health has never been more menacing. I am never without some problem I must address. But recently, somehow, they haven't dragged me down, despite being serious. So hopefully this pattern will continue. Hopefully I will get better. Hopefully this trial - which I'm currently waiting in a hospital room to speak with the Doctor about – will help me. Work the way its meant to, and I'll be free for a while. That is the only uncertainty glaring at me. Still somehow, this experience with cancer I think is shaping me in a positive way. It keeps me in line. It want to make sure if I get cured, I will remember the lessons I've learned. Part of me isn't certain that if I was healed and no longer threatened, that I'd allow myself to slip. Indulge in ways I shouldn't... I like the discipline that has been forced upon me, and as I grow accustomed to it and feel how it strengthens me, confidence does build towards believing the pattern will last.

3:40pm. Well, I just spoke with the Doctor's assistant who informed me that the scan from Wednesday does not look so good. Areas that were radiated just a few months ago are already lighting up again. And there are new spots as well. The good news is that my lymphocytes have finally risen to the much anticipated level of 500, meaning I might start the process for beginning CAR-T therapy immediately. Like, after this appointment. Major developments are suddenly happening in realtime, in a way I hadn't fully anticipated when starting this entry.

News of a bad scan is always disheartening. I did have a sort of icky feeling about the radiation. That it was effectively zapping the cancer, but poisoning me as well. Weakening me so it'd just quickly grow back. I did need to have it though. I was in rough shape from all the blockages. But here I am. This cancer is becoming menacing indeed. This new therapy, a ray of hope. A legitimate path towards... time alive. More legitimate to hopeful than other possible cures. All the little things I might do. Meditate. Change diet. Drink chaga everyday - something I will resume. The list goes on... so many little things I might try.

In this time, I realize music really has never meant more to me. All these new things I was given... guitar, violin bow, Nuemann mics, Soundtoys, really help. But anyway, this could be a rough stretch ahead.